Ninety-two West Side residents recently graduated from ComEd’s CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Academy.
Since 2013, the program has prepared minority candidates from Chicago’s West Side for careers in local energy. The latest round of graduates includes Jereh Brown, 31, and nine other Austin residents who worked through Austin People’s Action Center.
Brown described the opportunity as a blessing. A friend of his told him about the program last year, thinking it would be a good fit for Brown as he looked for a job.
Once in the 11-week program, one of Brown’s instructors helped him find employment at WIC, a federal program that provides food and nutrition education to mothers and their young children.
The Island native is an aspiring carpenter who sees his newly-earned CONSTRUCT certificate as the first step in his life in carpentry.
Why does he want to be a carpenter? Brown cites Jesus as his inspiration. He hopes to bring more infrastructure to the West Side – such as facilities to assist the community and a church.
“I wanted more than just a job,” Brown said. “I wanted a career and something I could share with my community.”
Participants in the program are also able to earn their Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) safety-training certification.
This year, CONSTRUCT added two more programs: Introduction in Estimating and Introduction into Project Management.
Applicants must be 18 years or older; have a driver’s license; have completed high school or the equivalent; and pass a background check.
For more information, West Side residents can call the Austin Peoples Action Center (APAC) at 773-921-2121.
Start your application here.